‘Casualty’ at 30: Fans, cast and producers reveal their favourite moments

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On 6 September 1986, the first episode of Casualty transmitted on BBC One.

Since then the show has produced more than 1,000 episodes, featured many future stars – including Kate Winslet, Tom Hiddleston and Daisy Ridley – and boasted a staggering array of incredible and defining moments.

Buy the complete first season of Casualty on DVD on Amazon here.

2016 sees Casualty celebrate its 30th anniversary with a jaw-dropping feature-length special on Saturday 27 August.

Before then CultBox takes an exclusive look back at some of those moments that have made the biggest impact on fans, cast members and producers…


Derek Thompson (Charlie Fairhead) – Season 1, Episode 1: ‘Gas’ (1986)

‘Charlie, dressed in his iconic flying jacket, takes a drag from his cigarette outside Casualty and then enters the building.’


Cathy Shipton (Lisa ‘Duffy’ Duffin) – Season 21, Episodes 1-2: ‘Different Worlds’ (2006)

 The row in a Cambodian Market with Charlie, like a married couple and I saw what the public have seen for years!’


Oliver Kent (Executive Producer) – Season 22, Episodes 1-2: ‘My First Day’ / ‘Charlie’s Anniversary’ (2007)

‘The arrival of Toby de Silva in the two-parter where we told the same story from two characters’ point of view – an excellent example of Mark’s [Catley] brilliant writing.’


Erika Hossington (Series Producer) – Season 29, Episode 6: ‘The Last Call’ (2014)

‘Dixie’s eulogy at Jeff’s funeral and the raising of the radios. I cried a lot of mascara off every time I watched that. Jane’s [Hazlegrove] performance was so beautifully understated, and it summed up their unique relationship so well.’



Sandra Huggett (Holly Miles)

‘I reckon one of the funniest and most memorable was when we had to shoot a very long, dramatic scene where a seriously injured patient is raced in from the ambulance, through the hospital, into resus. We all had a lot of words and actions and they were keen to get it all done in one shot for added drama. The pressure is always on when they do this – especially if you’re the poor actor with the last line because, if you fluff it, everyone has to go right back to the beginning and start over again.

‘This particular time it was the turn of my dear friend, Ian Kelsey [Patrick Spiller] to have the last line which was: “Give him 10mg of Midazolam.” Well, we did take after take and poor Kelsey just couldn’t remember how to pronounce the name of the drug. It sounds a bit different to how it looks, so our head medical consultant gave Kelsey a tip: “Just think of this,” he said, “me/dads/a/lamb. Say it quickly and with your Northern accent it’ll be perfect.”

‘So, Kelsey went away and said it over and over to himself. “Me/dads/a/lamb, me/dads/a/lamb, medadsalamb. Got it!” We went to first positions and…Action! Off we went, racing down the corridor with the trolley, paramedics doing the handover to us doctors, crash through the doors into resus, gloves on, patient on to the bed, people racing around everywhere, administering drugs, calling for drugs, in comes Kelsey, we all hold our breaths and, “Give him 10mg of medadsadonkey.” “Cut! Wrong animal, Kelsey. It’s lamb, not donkey!”

‘I doubt I’ve done the story justice here but it was absolutely hilarious and all the actors and crew fell to the floor laughing. We got there in the end I seem to remember, possibly changing the drug to something different – I don’t recall – but it was a day to remember that’s for sure.’


Sarah – Season 24, Episode 47: ‘Nice And Easy Does It’ (2010)

‘Megan’s death. I was 14 or 15 at the time and it was quite poignant for me. It was kind of my first experience with an assisted suicide story, and it always stuck with me because of the way it was brilliantly written and acted so beautifully by the cast.’



Minnie – Season 7, Episode 14: ‘Point of Principle’ (1992)

‘Julian’s fight with management and the political tone of the early days. Julian was an incredibly nuanced character whom some could accuse of being paranoid and pompous but he was a clinical lead with principles.’


Katie – Season 26, Episode 16: ‘Next Of Kin, Part Two’ (2011)

‘The scenes which saw Zoe and Dylan trapped in resus. I loved this because it highlighted a significant development in their friendship, and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! After those scenes they had such an unshakeable friendship and, as a whole, the episode is my all-time favourite.’



Harriet – Season 29, Episode 23: ‘Something To Live For’ (2015)

‘Max and Zoe announce their relationship to their colleagues. It showed that Max and Zoe were both very happy and that job titles, status and age gaps shouldn’t get in the way of that happiness.’


Amy – Season 17, Episode 40: ‘A Special Day’ (2003)

‘Jack’s death. It was a pretty unique death and it was the first episode I remember watching properly. It’s not every day someone is blown up I guess!’



Cameron – Season 5, Episode 13: ‘A Reasonable Man’ (1990)

‘After all these years, the episode where Charlie gets shot is still my most memorable moment from Casualty. It was a huge moment in the show’s history, along with Ewart Plimmer’s heart attack in Season 3.’


Kat – Season 15, Episode 36: ‘Breaking The Spell, Part Two’ (2001)

‘When the song Angels plays towards the end of the episode. I think because of the build-up throughout the two parter and the relief at Patrick finding Holly and the hope that the two of them had found each other would get together finally! It’s one of those moments that has always stuck with me.’



Daisy – Season 22, Episode 18: ‘Take A Cup Of Kindness’ (2007)

‘The arrival of Zoe Hanna. This is my favourite moment because Zoe was my favourite character and she brought something new and different to the show from her very first appearance.’


Nemo – Season 1, Episode 11: ‘Drunk’ (1986)

‘Duffy’s rape. It’s such an underappreciated performance and episode. I love how subtle this is, she says nothing happened and because of how it’s written and directed we believe her for years until it all comes out. It’s not used all the time, she didn’t spend the next however many years dealing with rape cases and bringing it up every Season. It was rarely brought up and I loved that.’


Stacey – Season 18, Episode 6: ‘Against Protocol’ (2003)

‘Purely because Josh and Charlie stripping off entirely naked and then running completely bare-bottomed into the sea can NEVER be topped, surely!?’


Mark – Season 1 and 2 (1986-87)

‘The fight to keep the department alive and, in Ewart Plimmer, a physical embodiment of the founding spirit of the NHS, the welfare society and socialism.’



A huge, huge thanks to everyone who sent in their favourite moments and memories from the last 30 years of Casualty! Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible to include every moment, but I hope this gives just a little sense of how beloved a show it is.

As the ED’s doors open on Season 31, here’s to another 30 years and many more memorable moments. Happy anniversary Casualty!


Buy the complete first season of Casualty on DVD on Amazon here.

What’s your favourite ever moment in Casualty? Let us know below…

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Read more from Tobias on his blog.